After 2 years off I returned to the competition scene and it hadn’t changed that much although they had added the logger board section. These boards are similar to Paul’s Brew boards which have full tails, full round rails with a big single fin. Somebody said that they were supposed to weigh 8kg but that wasn’t compulsory. Harley Ingleby won both the open divisions, logger and performance. I think if you compared the footage you would struggle to see much difference. If they were serious about the division they would use the old D fin boards from the 60’s or an exact replica. I have taken a few shots of the boards and the fin set ups in both styles. Most of the performance boards have a standard thruster set up with just a few having a slightly larger middle fin. They didn’t seem to have any problems with nose riding, yet the performance was improved greatly. The big single fins are on the logger boards.
The contest was at Emerald on the smaller days and Arrawarra Headland on the bigger days. I didn’t have to surf on the first couple of days, so I stayed on the Gold Coast and end up having 4 good days of Rainbow Bay breaking thorough to Greenmount beach. It was unbelievable hollow breaking in really shallow water. The better surfers were getting 100m tubes, some of them 6 ft back all the way down the bank, just like MP used to.
Arturo who used to work at Chelsea and then Frankston was in the open team and team manager. He called me on day 4 to come down to Arrawarra for my late afternoon heat. After a 3 1/2 hour drive we arrived to 2-4ft reasonable consistent waves. My heat had 2 of the most competitive surfers in the o/60’s, Alan Atkins 8 national titles and Danny Bond 15 titles at his home break.
After studying the break I noticed every one paddled the 300m from the beach. I decided to jump off the rocks and paddle 20m, also gaining the inside advantage. I was very selective with my wave choice, often it seems like a game a of chess, it’s easy to make a wrong move. Everything fell into place and I ended up winning the heat.
4 days later after surfing a few of the local breaks and really good Angourie with Arturo I was back at Arrawarra Headland against Alan and Danny again. I tried the same tactics and was coming second with 2 minutes to go when I took the wrong waves in the set, giving Alan the best wave of the heat, moving me back to 3rd and finishing 5th overall. All the results of the Australian titles 2014 can be found on the surfing Australia website.
While I was away the sand at Snapper would have dropped almost 1m in the 5 days, check how little Marlie rocks have resurfaced in the pictures.
I had the pleasure of surfing against Justin in Western Australia around the turn of the century at 4-6′ Yullingup. At the start of the heat I had taken up my position on the break and he paddled past me to the outside. We both paddled for our first wave he yelled “going right” so I pulled back not to interfere he then turned back and went left ripping me off, the other 2 guys got the next two waves and I was left out there. Justin then paddled back to the same spot. As I paddled for the next wave he did the same thing, so I turned straight into him and we went over the falls together. When I got my board back I frantically caught the next wave only to find Justin had taken off in the whitewater. At the end of the heat when we got back to the beach it was announced that I had two interference and he had one making us last and second last. I later found out he was the worst hassler in West Australia. If you let somebody push you around in a contest you may as well not go in it.
Justin did this incredible trick where he ran down the beach threw his board on the water jumping on it and running to the nose hanging 5 and then walking back and stepping off.
A couple years later at the national titles at Lennox he was the first person I saw pull off an aerial on his back hand in 4′ surf on his nine foot mal.
See you in the surf